Last sighting along the lane was a Woodpigeon , stuffing itself with Ivy berries .
On the way home , I stopped near Keston Church to see if the first flower of the new year was showing . Sure enough , the flower buds have started to open . In a mild Winter , they can be found in flower during November . It is the Winter Heliotrope , often found along roadsides . Along the bottom lane , mixed flocks of Crow , Jackdaw and Rook were feeding on the pasture . Sorry about the wire fencing , I took this from the car , then got out to get a better one , then they were there no more . To some areas Rooks are plentiful , but around Bromley , they are few and far between .
A 'True Brit' with that golden bill and eye ring .
the odd Pochard , a few Teal , the odd Grey Heron and a small number of Black Headed Gulls . It was quite exciting when a flock of about 30/40 Wigeon , whistled their way in over the Oast House , but even they immediately hid themselves amongst the trees well down the reservoir . Needless to say , the reservoir is now full to the gunnels , covering all the mud and beach edges under water pumped in from the nearby River Eden . These will not be seen again until well after the Spring migration has finished .
With all the disturbance , I was tempted to head straight home , but decided to stop near the Oast House and have a look for the female Bearded Tit . Well , that didn't work out either , probably because the chainsaw was almost as loud there , and she was probably keeping her head down . All was not lost though , on a feeder near the car park sump pump outlet , a constant stream of species were feeding frantically . Amongst them was a Nuthatch that arrived with stopwatch timing , grabbed seeds and disappeared , seen here sharing with a Blue Tit . In the trees around the feeder , I spotted a female Brambling , too nervous to attempt coming in , but seeming watching how it was done . This was the best I could get , go any nearer , and she was off .
The main feeding station in the Orchard was like Victoria Station with constant coming and going and constant squabbles . Chaffinches were the most numerous and I hoped that other Bramblings might be with them , but it wasn't to be . Starlings , Greenfinches , Blackbirds , Robins , Dunnocks , Blue and Great Tits and a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers were all players , and below the feeders , one male and six female ( yes he did have a smile on his face ) Pheasants were hoovering up anything that fell to the floor .
Leaning against the five bar gate and keeping still allowed good opportunities for some of the participants .